Saturday, September 1, 2012

Harvest moon

We have had the harvest moon and there is the feel of Autumn on it's way. The blackberries are now ripening, first of the new season free food, soon it will be time for the mushrooms.
The potatoes have been lifted and are now in store for the winter, we grow a variety called Sarpo Mira, blight resistant and also apparently slug resistant as well, we have had much damage caused through slugs this year but the potatoes are fine, it has also been a bad year for blight but we have escaped it and we have a good crop, hopefully enough to last until the new season. The outside onions are also now harvested, the crop can only be described as reasonable, I'm not too sure if we will bother growing onions outside again, the early over wintered ones in the tunnel did far better. The main-crop carrots have done very well, unfortunately the look does not match up with the taste. We grew a variety called Flyaway, resistant to carrot root fly, probably due to the fact that they have very little flavour. We will not be growing them again, we will take our chances with the root fly and just net them, we like flavour in our carrots. Fortunately I had planted some Nantes in the keyhole garden, they are growing well, this is the variety we had always grown and they are full of flavour. Both runner beans and French beans have been a disaster. The first lot of runners were enjoyed by our rabbits, the French beans developed rust, curled up and died, my second planting of runners were doing well, lots of flowers and beans setting, I had planted them in the tunnel as the season was getting on. A few days ago I noticed that they too were showing signs of rust and definite die back , then the penny dropped. Tomatoes! I had forgotten the basic rules of companion planting, some plants are beneficial to each other, some are definitely antagonists, beans hate tomatoes and I had planted tomatoes in the French bean bed and the runner beans I had planted in a bed where there was a tomato plant growing. A mistake I wont make again.
Most of the young rabbits are now in the freezer, with two exceptions, one very pretty girl that I had called Goldie, not a good idea to name anything you wish to eat, the second one is living a totally free range life. Ten days ago we had a mass escape of the young ones, all were captured the same day with the exception of one. She has taken up residence in the hedge row but each evening appears in the drive way waiting to be feed her wheat, she pays no heed to either our cats or dogs and neither do they bother her .She is quite happy for us to be outside close to her unless we happen to have net with us, then she dives back into the thick hedge, knowing we can't get her. I'm hoping that when the weather gets bad she will want to return to the comfort of her hutch and run but I'm not holding my breath on that.
The wild flower meadow mix that we had planted has done well for the first year, and we are hoping that everything will self-seed and continue for many years to come. The insects and butterflies love it.

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